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News Archive


23/3/2020
The UK Government Has Effectively Nationalised The Railways Today
The British government is effectively nationalising the state's railways for a temporary period, it has been announced.   Rail franchise agreements are to be suspended to avoid train companies collapsing due to the coronavirus, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.  
23/3/2020
Highland Council New Helplines to be launched tomorrow
The Highland Council is preparing to launch dedicated Freephone helplines from tomorrow.   One will focus on providing advice and support for people who want to know how they can volunteer and for anyone needing assistance and help.  
23/3/2020
Coronavirus - Business Support To Launch From Today
Businesses will be able to access government support from today (Monday 23 March) to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus.   The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium businesses.  
23/3/2020
NFU Scotland - Union Launches Employment Service For Labour ShortageThumbnail for article : NFU Scotland - Union Launches Employment Service For Labour Shortage
NFU Scotland linking farms needing labour with those looking for employment due to coronavirus Scotland's farming union has launched a service to help Scottish fruit and vegetable growers recruit workers who have lost their jobs or are on unpaid leave due to coronavirus.   For those businesses looking to recruit, there is a labour requirement form to complete and return to NFUS allowing details to be added to an interactive map of employment opportunities.  
23/3/2020
Government Ensures Ticket Refunds And Protects Services For Passengers With Rail Emergency Measures
We're supporting train operators to make sure our railways stay open for key workers during the coronavirus outbreak.   - government steps in to provide stability and certainty on key services and to rail staff during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak all train operators presented with opportunity to temporarily - transition onto Emergency Measures Agreements, enabling greater flexibility and transferring revenue and cost risk to the government.  
23/3/2020
Planning For Brexit - Call To Put All Available Resource Towards Tackling Covid-19
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has called on the UK Government to halt current Brexit negotiations to ensure all available resources can be put towards mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on the environment and rural economy.   Ms Cunningham was speaking ahead of today's Inter-Ministerial Group for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs being hosted by the Scottish Government by video conference.  
23/3/2020
Enhanced role for community pharmacists
Pharmacists empowered to help more patients during COVID-19 outbreak.   Community pharmacists are to perform an enhanced role during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  
23/3/2020
Veterinary Medicines Directorate Incoming Post
Request to notify the VMD if you are planning to send items through the post.   As staff now work remotely, the VMD requests you notify them first if you are planning to send us anything by post.  
23/3/2020
PM Boris Johnson Address To The Nation On Coronavirus: 23 March 2020Thumbnail for article : PM Boris Johnson Address To The Nation On Coronavirus: 23 March 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.   Good Evening, The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades - and this country is not alone.  
23/3/2020
First Minister COVID-19 updateThumbnail for article : First Minister COVID-19 update
Good afternoon everybody, thank you for joining us today.  If I can begin, today, with an update on case numbers.  
23/3/2020
Social Care At Heart Of Response To Coronavirus (covid-19)
Scottish Government to meet increased costs.   Councils have been asked to increase support for care at home, nursing homes and care homes to reduce delayed discharges and free up hospital beds.  
23/3/2020
Latest Guidance About Covid-19 From NHS Scotland And The Scottish Government
Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including social distancing and stay at home advice can be found at http://nhsinform.scot/coronavirus If you've developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild.  Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.  
23/3/2020
New NHS 24 Arrangements For Coronavirus
Patients with concerns about symptoms advised to dial 111 if they need help.   Patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms are now asked to dial NHS 24 on 111, day or night, if their symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days.  
23/3/2020
Benefit Claimants Are Asked To Apply Online As Jobcentres Limit Access
People are being urged to use online services before turning to the telephone for help with their benefit claim.   With a rise in new claims, and with demand for support over the phone increasing, the Department for Work and Pensions is taking unprecedented action to make sure people can get the support they need, including moving 10,000 existing staff to focus on processing new claims.  
23/3/2020
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBLIS)- Open For Applications
The Chancellor has announced that the British Business Bank will manage the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which is available from today, 23rd March 2020 an will initially run for 6 months.   See https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/ Key Features: - Through this scheme businesses who are experiencing increased costs or lost or deferred revenues during the Covid-19 outbreak can apply for a new loan, overdraft, Invoice finance facility or asset finance of up to a maximum of £5m from their bank or through 40+ other accredited lenders.  
23/3/2020
Support For Business Water Bills
Relaxation of charges to help with coronavirus pressures.   A package of measures worth £60 million has been agreed between the Scottish Government and the water industry to help businesses facing difficulties with water charges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  
22/3/2020
Major New Measures To Protect People At Highest Risk From Coronavirus
A raft of new measures, including a helpline for the most in need of support, have been set out for those considered to be extremely vulnerable.   Government urges up to 1.5 million people in England who face the highest risk of being hospitalised by the virus to shield themselves and stay at home.  
22/3/2020
Coronavirus travel warning for Highlands and Islands
Tourism Secretary angry about 'irresponsible behaviour'.   Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing is urging people to stop travelling to the Highlands and Islands in a bid to avoid the Coronavirus.  
22/3/2020
Coronavirus (covid-19) First Minister's Speech 22 March 2020
Statement given by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at a media briefing on Sunday 22 March 2020.   Good afternoon I've called today’s briefing because I want to leave people in no doubt about how serious the situation we face is, and how vital it is that everyone - individuals and business - follows the advice that has been issued.  
22/3/2020
Flexibility On Alcohol Rules Needed
Supporting drinks manufacturers to respond to Covid-19.   Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for greater flexibility on alcohol tax and regulations for alcoholic drink manufacturers that are now looking to produce hand sanitiser in response to Covid-19.